The lead up to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas Chiefs on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field to kick off the 2019 NFL season has felt weird. A large part of that was because of Hurricane Dorian and how it kind of put everything else on pause while the city shut down for a few days, but the other part of it is we really have no clue what to expect from the Jaguars, specifically on offense.
The line on Sunday’s game is Chiefs -3.5, which seems to mean a pretty even match up. Last season the loss to the Chiefs kind of was the start to the derailment of the season in what should have been one of the best match ups of the season. The Jaguars vaunted defense against the Chiefs mighty offense.
If you go back and watch the film, that match up was actually great. The defense did a great job of holding the Chiefs offense in check and allowed only 23 points, which would have been the lowers point output by the Chiefs offense all season. What makes it even more impressive is the Jaguars offense had five turnovers, including a pick six, and they still held the Chiefs to a total of 30 points.
On Sunday, the game should be a similar match up. The Jaguars defense should be smothering, especially with the addition of Josh Allen as a chess piece, but the Jaguars offense is the real unknown and will be the key to the Jaguars winning.
I’m confident the Jaguars defense will slow down the Chiefs just like they did last season, but they can only slow them down so much. The Chiefs are going to score 20+ points, I think you just have to assume that. That means in order to win, barring an epic performance by the defense, the Jaguars offense is going to have to score around 30 points.
That’s the real mystery on Sunday.
We have no idea what we’re going to get from the Jaguars offense. We literally haven’t seen it. We saw two quarters of vanilla offense in the preseason, but that was it and it didn’t really tell us anything other than Nick Foles is clearly much better than Blake Bortles. While that in is an upgrade in and of itself, we still haven’t seen the entire picture, so it’s a huge unknown.
That’s simultaneously an advantage and a disadvantage for the Jaguars. While Andy Reid is somewhat familiar with Nick Foles and we’ve seen Foles operate in an offense with some John DeFilipo touches, we’ve never seen him in a full DeFilipo offense. It’s an advantage for the Jaguars, because early on or in key situation and they can throw out some surprises, but it’s a disadvantage for the fans because it’s hard to get excited about something we haven’t ever seen.
If the Jaguars are going to win on Sunday, it’s going to require the team suddenly having a competent offense. We’re just going to have to trust Doug Marrone’s method this offseason.